SEMrush Projects: Starting with a Site Audit

Why do you need SEO? For starters, SEO strategies improve user experience, help the right audience find the right website, boosts a business’s credibility and authority, does not require paying for ads, and allows businesses to stay ahead of the competition. SEMrush is one product on the market that provides a suite of tools for improving online visibility and researching marketing data. The website provides tools and reports for marketers in SEO, PPC, SMM, keyword research, competitive research, marketing campaign management, public relations, content marketing, marketing insights (SEMrush, n.d.-b).

SEMrush Projects allows users to find marketing data outside of the SEMrush database, while Domain Analytics and Keyword Analytics use internal databases (SEMrush, n.d.-a). The Project sharing feature gives marketers the option of sharing information and collaborating among agency staff (SEMrush, n.d.-a).

The screenshot of the Projects dashboard below shows some of the tools already set up for, and those not yet selected. These are the eleven tools available in Projects and their purpose (Tietbohl, 2021):
• Site Audit: The health score of a Project’s latest audit.
• Position Tracking: The visibility percentage that a main domain has for the target keywords in a Project.
• On Page SEO Checker: Suggestions that be implemented to help improve landing pages to rank for keywords in a Project.
• Social Media Tracker: Provides an overview of a Project’s social media audience and activity.
• Social Media Poster: Allows for posts and posts scheduling to social media accounts.
• Brand Monitoring: Provides a count of how many times set keywords are found across the internet for brand monitoring.
• Backlink Audit: The number of toxic domains that are sending backlinks to a Project domain.
• Link Building: Identifies pages that have the potential to be part of a link-building campaign.
• PPC Keyword Tool: Overview of the number of campaigns and keywords.
• Organic Traffic Insights: Google Analytics data about visits over the past month.
• Content Analyzer: Tracks website content on external websites.

Tietbohl (2021) recommends beginning a project with a Site Audit to analyze the health of a business’s website. SEMrush’s Site Audit provides users with a list of issues with a website that, when fixed, will improve the SEO of the website (SEMrush, n.d.-a). Site Audit is also a good place to start since it provides over 120 on-page and technical SEO checks, including duplicate content, broken links, indexability, and more (SEMrush, n.d.-a).

The Site Audit Overview Report provides an estimate of a website’s health with a Site Health Score, top issues, errors, warnings, notices, crawlability, HTTPS, international SEO, core web vitals (beta), markup (new), site performance, crawled pages, robots.txt updates, and internal linking (SEMrush, 2021). The Site Health Score is represented as a percentage between 0 and 100 and is generated based on the number of errors and warnings found throughout the website in relation to the number of checks that have been run (SEMrush, n.d.-a). The higher the Site Health Score the better and addressing the flagged errors and warnings will improve the website’s score (SEMrush, n.d.-a). The Site Audit also provides “notices” which are not as severe as errors or warnings and do not impact a Site Health Score (SEMrush, n.d.-a).

The thematic reports in the Site Audit Overview Report provides direction as to where issues are commonly found on a website (SEMrush, n.d.-a). SEMrush (n.d.-a) defines its seven thematic reports in the following ways:
• Crawlability relates to how easy it is for search engines to find what they are looking for on a site.
• HTTPS diagnoses issues related to a website’s transition from HTTP.
• International SEO covers best practices for global websites.
• Site performance evaluates a site’s speed and performance.
• Internal linking which looks at how well a site links between its webpages.
• Core web vitals, which is in beta, gives a website a rating based on the largest contentful paint (quick loading time), total blocking time (time homepage is unavailable for data input), and cumulative layout shift (homepage content shifts).
• Markup provides information on webpages that use microdata and provides a markup score.

Below is a screenshot of the Site Audit Overview Report for Yelda Media received a Site Health Score of 88%, had 6 errors, 73 warnings, and 217 notices (SEMrush, 2021). SEMrush also provides an average Site Health Score for specific industries and the top 10% of websites (SEMrush, 2021). A total of 39 pages were crawled on the Yelda Media website, though 30 of these pages were listed as “have issues” (SEMrush, 2021).

Top issues identified with the Site Audit include two pages having returned 4XX status codes, two broken internal links, and two pages with duplicate meta descriptions (SEMrush, 2021). Tietbohl (2021) explains that 4xx errors are a common code for situations where the client has made a mistake. Tietbohl (2021) also suggests that errors be addressed, warnings be strongly considered, and notices ideally be fixed.

If significant changes have been made to a website, when a Site Audit is re-run, a new Site Health Score will be provided, as well as a differing number of issues (SEMrush, n.d.-a). SEMrush Projects also provide the option to email, schedule, or brand reports with a logo (SEMrush, n.d.-a). The My Reports feature allows for the creation of custom reports that incorporate the Site Audit and other research (SEMrush, n.d.-a). Over time, the Site Audit will update itself and the increases/decreases in website health can be tracked (SEMrush, n.d.-a).

Like Google Analytics, there is a lot of different types of data and insights available from SEMrush. Also, like Google Analytics, the data discovered should ultimately result in changes that improve website performance, drive traffic, and increase conversions. Tietbohl (2021) states that “most activities in digital will involve three steps: measuring, improving, and reporting. SEMrush can assist with all of these.”

Through utilizing the SEMrush Projects tools, problem areas for will be identified, the recommended changes will be made, and the SEO improvement will be monitored over time. The Site Audit is just the tip of the iceberg for tools available in the Projects dashboard and lessons will continue to be learned along the way. Ultimately, no matter what type of website, it is essential to keep it organized and maintain its health for the sake of SEO.

SEMrush. (2021, February 22). Dashboard: Yelda Media. Retrieved from:
SEMrush. (n.d.-a) Knowledge Base: SEMrush Toolkits. Retrieved from:
SEMrush. (n.d.-b) Knowledge Base: What is SEMrush? Retrieved from:
Tietbohl, M. (2021). Week 5 Lesson: SEO – On-page Optimization and Technical SEO, Introduction to SEMrush [Online]. Retrieved from

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